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Spain: unions call for general strike over labour laws

23 March 2012
UGT and CC.OO banners
Spain's two main unions, both PSI affiliates, have called for a general strike on 29 March to protest against changes to labour laws and in defence of public services ahead of the presentation of the 2012 budget and its accompanying austerity measures.

The UGT and the CC.OO will both be protesting against workplace reforms that would make it simpler and cheaper for employers to fire staff. The unions denounce the government's "unilateral decision to apply workplace reform and hardline budgetary measures". A spokesman for the Workers General Union (UGT), Candido Mendez called the strike "fair and necessary".

On 19th February, demonstrations all over Spain brought together thousands of protestors, and the unions had informed the government that they would be calling for a general strike.  

General strikes are rare in Spain : only five have been called since the beginning of democracy in the country in 1978. The last general strike of 29 September 2010 was also in protest against workplace reform introduced by the then socialist government.

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